They Just Seem a Little Weird
How KISS, Cheap Trick, Aerosmith, and Starz Remade Rock and Roll
by Doug Brod
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Pub Date 01 Dec 2020 | Archive Date 29 Mar 2021
A veteran music journalist explores how four legendary rock bands—KISS, Cheap Trick, Aerosmith, and Starz—laid the foundation for two diametrically opposed subgenres: hair metal in the '80s and grunge in the '90s.It was the age when heavy-footed, humorless dinosaurs roamed the hard-rock landscape. But that all changed when into these dazed and confused mid-'70s strut-ted four flamboyant bands that reveled in revved-up anthems and flaunted a novel theatricality. In They Just Seem a Little Weird, veteran entertainment journalist Doug Brod offers an eye- and ear-opening look at a crucial moment in music history, when rock became fun again and a gig became a show. This is the story of friends and frenemies who rose, fell, and soared once more, often sharing stages, studios, producers, engineers, managers, agents, roadies, and fans-and who are still collaborating more than forty years on.
In the tradition of David Browne's Fire and Rain and Sheila Weller's Girls Like Us, They Just Seem a Little Weird seamlessly interweaves the narratives of KISS, Cheap Trick, and Aerosmith with that of Starz, a criminally neglected band whose fate may have been sealed by a shocking act of violence. This is also the story of how these distinctly American groups-three of them now enshrined in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame-laid the foundation for two seemingly opposed rock genres: the hair metal of Poison, Skid Row, and Mötley Crüe and the grunge of Nirvana, Alice in Chains, and the Melvins. Deeply researched, and featuring more than 130 new interviews, this book is nothing less than a secret history of classic rock.
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